It's been a whirlwind few months since my last update in May, when I explained some of the challenges we were facing in helping to onboard a record number of new umbrella employees.
Since that time, we've seen the world starting to re-open, and in the UK, the easing of lockdown restrictions has allowed people to start returning to more familiar routines in their personal and working lives.
This has also meant an overall increase in business confidence and for our community of contractors it has resulted in more assignments and more work, which has been great to see.
Our priority has always been to provide our contractors with everything they need in terms of support and customer service. We’re there to support them to continue doing the work they love, safe in the knowledge that all their accounting, payroll and tax needs are taken care of.
The IR35 reforms earlier this year without doubt caused a seismic shift in the way that many contractors wanted, and in some cases needed, to operate. We at Parasol anticipated that the move to umbrella working would be significant - which is why as a business, we made lots of preparations for the increase in those requiring our services. But the demand we saw exceeded all of our expectations.
How we've been working to keep service standards high
As I highlighted earlier this year, our team were working around the clock in order to meet the demand from Parasol employees - both existing and new. That has continued over the last few months and while we acknowledge that we haven't always got everything right, I'm very proud of the effort the team has put in during this period.
We understand that for those new to Parasol – and in many cases new to umbrella employment – there can be a lot of questions that need to be answered.
The new functions and processes we implemented to help deal with increased demand, such as live chats and improved email and telephone routing, have had a positive impact and helped us really get things back on track. We've also invested heavily in people resources, and now have a dedicated team of more than 60 Parasol staff that are on-hand to deal with all of your enquiries. Our team is working hard to answer queries as quickly and efficiently as possible with our average call and live chat response time now well under a minute.
We’re extremely proud to work with such a fantastic contractor community and would like to thank each and every one of our employees for their continued support and patience. Our reputation as a market-leading umbrella employment company is something we take immense pride in, and we will continue to work hard to show you that we are a contractor-first umbrella company that puts employees at the heart of everything.
If you have any concerns, queries or other feedback, please do email the Parasol employee support team as we always want to know what more we can do to help you: firstname.lastname@example.org